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Arild Andersen - Green in Blue: Early Quartets

A 3 cd box set in ECM's Old and New Masters Series features master bassist Arild Andersen's first three albums as a leader - 'Clouds In My Head', 'Shimri' and 'Green Shading Into Blue' - none of which has previously appeared on CD.

Together the three discs present a compelling picture of Andersen's first years as a bandleader. They show his ability to lead an ensemble, to harness young talent and direct it creatively. There are also many fine tunes from Arild's pen and, of course, there is plenty of Arild's tremendous bass playing in the ballads and up-tempo pieces.

All three albums were produced by Manfred Eicher in Oslo and for this CD re-issue all the music has been re-mastered.

In 1974 the great Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen decided to strike out on his own. After six years as Jan Garbarek's bassist and a parallel career as freelance musician, playing for everyone from Don Cherry to Stan Getz, he launched his own group.

The first recording, 'Clouds In My Head' featured two 19 year olds - drummer Pål Thowsen, a virtuoso from Arild's neighbourhood in Lillestroem, and the then-unknown Jon Balke on piano. On saxophone was Knut Riisnaes, leading light of Oslo's bebop scene.

1976's 'Shimri' featured a revised line-up with the great Finnish saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, a wonderfully expressive player, and Swedish pianist Lars Jansson.

1978's 'Green Shading Into Blue' added discreet use of synthesizers to the group's palette with Lars Jansson now playing Mini-Moog and String Ensemble keyboards as well as piano. Andersen had been inspired by Herbie Hancock's use of electronic keyboards, but sought to integrate them as colours in a group where "the energy still derived from the core acoustic quartet".

Personnel: Arild Andersen (double-bass), Pål Thowsen (drums), Jon Balke (piano), Lars Jansson (piano, synthesizers), Knut Riisnaes (saxophones, flute), Juhani Aaltonen (saxophones, flute)

Arild Andersen - Green in Blue: Early Quartets 


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